Tim Kneller has pursued a successful career in logistics encompassing all temperature ranges in both third party and own account operations. His roles included Project Management and Operational Management in the UK and Europe, rising to a senior operations position with a major third party logistics service provider.

Since the beginning of 1995 he has worked as an Interim Project and Programme Manager for substantial periods, interspersed with spells in employed positions as Operations Director for Converse, the major US based sports footwear manufacturer and as a Key Account Manager for Exel Logistics. This has enabled him to broaden his experience in General Management and particularly in Supply Chain and IT, having board responsibility for both the latter functions. A Certified Prince2 Practitioner he is also adept at the use of the standard microsoft project management tools; Excel, Access, Project, Visio and Powerpoint.


An outline of some of the projects undertaken and currently underway is given below, categorised into Strategic, Warehousing, Supply Chain, Systems & Miscellaneous Click on one of the links to go straight to the category of interest. Having worked in a large number of sectors (see the Background section), latterly the thrust has largely been on Change Management and Project Management.


A number of large-scale strategic projects have been completed during the last eleven years, including those below:

·       Developed the logistics strategy for a successful and fast growing, direct to consumer retailer with a unique business model. The organisation started as predominantly Internet based, but was progressively moving into mail order, utilising internet and telephone ordering. The warehousing methodology that was devised was cost effective over a large range of scale, with low start-up costs, and capable of easy replication in any country, in order to support the global ambitions of the client. See the Mail Order Picking Case Study for details of the warehousing solution.

·       Formulated overall distribution strategy for a client, then implemented the strategy, which included sourcing and setting up a new National Distribution Centre. This project required bringing together disparate logistics operations run by each of the three divisions into a single, in-house, operation.

·       Produced Invitations to Tender for National Distribution Centres for two major clients, co-ordinated the tender processes, conducted the negotiations with potential contractors and recommended the contractors to be selected.

·       Acting as an internal consultant, developed a logistics strategy for Storehouse, which maximised the utilisation of their Atherstone facility to allow them to continue to use it, largely unchanged, into the next millennium, thereby maximising the return on their investment. Also liaised with the Bhs Christmas Shop team to devise supply chain strategies for peak times.

·       Development of strategic plans and documentation of Business Plans for a number of small companies.


Major warehousing projects recently undertaken include the following:

·       Planned and executed the onboarding of a major new client for a specialist media distribution company. Planned all of the activities to prepare the warehouse, recruit and train the staff and integrate the new client's SAP system with the customer's host ERP and Warehouse Management Systems. In the first week of live operation over 500,000 units were shipped on 1,600 orders.

·       Planned and executed the relocation of a publishers warehouse from East London to the East Midlands. Working with the client's Logistics Manager and other members of their management team, defined the requirement, sourced a suitable new building and oversaw the fit out, staff recruitment and physical re-location. So smooth was the transition that two weeks after the move was completed one of the client's major customers asked when the move was going to take place!

·       Closed seven Regional Distribution Centres operated by DSDA and integrated the operations into the two existing distribution hubs. Small parcel distribution (up to 30kg) was passed to Parcel Force and deliveries of up to two pallets were passed to a pallet network. Concurrent with the RDC closures a lead time reduction from 28 to 7 calendar days was implemented for all routine priority deliveries to units anywhere in Western Europe or to the airheads for despatches to the rest of the world.

·       Executed a change of logistics service providers from a single contractor utilising one large single site to a two-site operation with a different warehousing contractor on each site. This required the successfully relocation of 30,000 pallets of stock, whilst maintaining customer service to the major multiple retailers.

·       Consolidated the seven European warehouses previously operated by Converse into a single operation in the Netherlands, saving £1m per annum. See the European Warehousing Consolidation Case Study for fuller details.

·       Established a new National Distribution Centre for Mölnlycke, which included identification of a building, negotiating the lease, designing the layout, obtaining planning permission and fitting out, and then recruitment of all staff and commissioning, whilst maintaining service to the customers. For the four months whilst the operation was bedding in, took line responsibility for the logistics operation.

·       A complete overhaul of warehouse operating procedures for a food wholesaler. This started with re-organising how and where product was stored and located within the warehouse. This included renumbering and re-labelling the racking locations, a complete re-layout of where product was stored and the picking locations, taking into account the product characteristics and their throughputs. All of the operating processes in the warehouse where considered, altered as appropriate and then fully documented and charted.

Supply Chain

A number of Supply Chain projects have been undertaken, both as an internal consultant and as a Director responsible for Supply Chain. Highlights are:

·       Improved forecasting, purchasing and circulation of stock for Converse in the EMEA region, saving £2m per annum. Fuller details are given in the European Supply Chain Case Study.

·       Co-ordinated with Bhs merchandisers to achieve optimum in-store stock availability, through enhanced planning and by auditing of major suppliers’ logistics capabilities and persuading them to make changes to optimise availability, as necessary.

·       Undertook a full supply and cost price review for a medium sized company, including reverse tendering and sourcing from the Far East. Potential savings are in the region of 25% of overall cost.

Information Technology

A large number of systems projects have been completed, initially with a predominance of Warehouse Management Systems, then sevearl Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems implementations of SAP, JBA and Movex as well as infrastructure development as the Director responsible for IT throughout Europe. Development of an in depth understanding of PC software and Web Technology has been critical to recent successes in this area.

·       Project Managed implementation of many Warehouse Management Systems, including development of Functional Specifications, overseeing Program Development, testing, operator training, implementation and post go-live support. Systems used include: World Wide Chain Stores, Dallas, Diablo and Solar (Transport Development Group’s own Systems), BPCS, Opus, Equinox and Chainware, on a variety of platforms from AS400 to PC.

·       Project managed the design, development and implementation of a bespoke Warehouse and Transport Planning System to handle up to 20,000 orders per day to determine the optimum delivery method, then schedule the picking, transportation to the distribution hubs and onward delivery to the end customer. See the Logistics Planning System Case Study for fuller details.

·       Programme Manager and Team Leader for the Sales, and e-businees streams of a major SAP implentation with a budget of around £16 million.

·       Specified, sourced and planned implementation of IT Systems to support the warehousing strategy for an Internet retailer, whilst integrating with front and back office systems, utilising web enabled, thin client, COM compliant technology.

·       Implemented ERP system (JBA) in all Western European subsidiaries within 18 months. See the System Implementation Case Study for fuller details.

·       Infrastructure projects undertaken in the last four years include:

-   Overhauling Converse’s entire European IT infrastructure to create a robust, Year 2000 compliant environment.

-   Creating a European Wide Area Network, later utilising Virtual Private Network (VPN), and standardising of Local Area Networks within Europe.

-   Upgrading of a network from Token Ring to Ethernet and from Novell to NT.

-   Several projects organising the technical infrastructure for logistics service providers to operate the clients’ Warehouse Management Systems.

·       Project Manager for the implementation of business intelligence tools as well as being responsible for the construction of an intranet-based management information system for Europe wide operations.

·       Experience of mid range ERP systems such as Navision and Axapta.


·       Project Managed the relocation of a company’s headquarters from North London to Huntingdon, whilst co-ordinating the replacement of 60% of the companies staff, necessitated by the move.

·       Re-engineered packaging to enhance brand image and maximise deliveries through the letterbox, also researched alternative "final mile" solutions for larger deliveries direct to consumer.

·       Devised and successfully implemented a retail store based customer order system for lighting products.

·       Project Managed the setting up of a call centre, which was initially outsourced, as the perceived need for 24/7 operation suggested that an in-house operation would be impractical. This required the selection of a contractor, setting up of software links using web pages, development of scripts, etc. Early in the operation it was found that the lack of ownership by the call centre staff, together with their inability to access customer records in real-time, compromised the high level of customer service that was required by the client. Additionally, the number of calls after midnight was found to be virtually non-existent. The operation was then brought in-house, which successfully overcame the issue of poor response times and improved perceived customer care.

·       Obtaining grant aid for a client for research into a new business area and to facilitate the development of a new assembly plant in a development area.

·       Co-ordinating the development of Marketing Plans and PR programmes for a number of small businesses.

·       Co-ordinating implementation of ISO 9000 2000 and Health and Safety programmes in client companies.